Making the most of this time of Pause (part 1)
One of the things that I love best about my work is when I can bring all the various aspects together: people, nature and animals. The other day, as I was pondering this time of staying at home, I realised that this is the perfect opportunity for us all to do just that!
This time of Pause has come as an almost physical shock for the majority of people, not just because of the fear and anxiety about Coronavirus and the impact it’s having on our jobs and incomes, but also because we’re not used to having so much time on our hands, while at the same time not having access to most of the things we would normally use to fill that time: work, the gym, eating out, going to the cinema, meeting up with friends and family, and so on.
Often, we’ve lost touch with how to be contented in our own company.
Being given all this time, with no period of adjustment, is almost like being left alone with a stranger and feeling awkward, not knowing what to say.
The relative ‘quiet’ that we’re all experiencing can also bring to the surface a lot of feelings which can be uncomfortable and overwhelming.
So please be gentle and forgiving with yourself at this time. If you’re finding things difficult, this is perfectly normal. It’s not a sign of weakness. The sudden ‘stop’ of our usual routines is like jumping off a spinning roundabout. It’s bound to leave you feeling a bit disorientated at first.
Journaling and mindfulness can help you to become more centred again, and you might also like to try some grounding, or breathing exercises, or some ‘tapping’, which is a great way to lower anxiety and the other emotions that leave us feeling uncomfortable.
When you can sit with your emotions, allowing them to come up and just noticing how you feel, without resistance, this gives yourself the chance to process them, and the information they offer, which means that they can move on. After all, they are just another form of ‘Energy-in-motion’ – E-motion 😊
Sometimes it’s also about giving ourselves permission to experience whatever feelings come up. If we’re feeling fearful, anxious, frustrated, or sad, it’s ok. Equally, if we’re feeling hopeful, optimistic, relaxed or excited at the potential that we see in this transition, then that’s ok too. And if you find yourself swinging from one emotion to the next during the day, or even in the space of an hour well, that’s ok too!
So, how else might you be able to support yourself?
If you’re feeling isolated, reach out to others. Phone or video call friends and family members to stay in touch and support each other. We are social creatures and need to feel this sense of connection. I expect they’ll love hearing from you just you as much as you’ll enjoy speaking with them!
If you can’t think of anyone to call then there are organisations with staff who are there waiting to provide that listening ear and friendly voice. Also, I’m here and happy to have a ‘virtual coffee’ with you if you’d like to connect for a chat.
If you have specific concerns, for example about your job, your finances or your living situation, please don’t be afraid to contact someone who can answer any questions you might have.
The fact that we don’t know when this Pause will end can, in itself, bring up feelings of anxiety. Using the exercises I mentioned above, and creating a structure for your day which includes activities that you find nurturing and uplifting, will help you to feel more in control. When we can turn our attention to the things we can control, rather than the things we can’t, it’s empowering, and greatly reduces feelings of helplessness. It can help to change our perspective too, so that we come to see this time as the perfect opportunity to reconnect with our Self and to get to know the deeper aspects of Who We Really Are.
Tomorrow I’ll be looking at connection and wisdom from Nature.